Starting at 8am on Sunday at The White Lion, Seaford, 12 riders braved the icy conditions to ride the Ouse Esturay Trail (the gravel cycle path) to Newhaven to pick up another rider at Denton Corner. With thirteen of us in the group we rode along the cycle paths past Denton Island and round to the back of the Jolly Boatman. We crossed the C7 road and headed up Valley Road past the school, then tackled the short but very sharp climb to the A259 cycle path. We saw that the conversion of the footpath (to a surfaced cycleway) from the A259 to Ashington Gardens is now underway, and we’re looking forward to its completion in 5 weeks. Until that time the path will be closed.
Footpath clearance, ready for the cycle way
We cycled through The Big Park then along quiet roads up to Telscombe Road, out onto Teslcombe Tye then along the bridleways to Harvey’s Cross. It was very chilly out there in the open countryside, with some thick ice on the puddles but, despite the light fog, the views were worth it.
The group continued on towards Standean Bottom then the long, slow, circuitous climb up to Woodingdean – being a long meandering route makes it less of a daunting climb, and the valley is both beautiful and quiet. My favourite place. We met a fellow rider who joined us for part of the ride. It’s great when you bump into other riders en-route, and you soon get to recognised familiar faces taking advantage of the amazing countryside we have around here.
Frost and sun at Standean Bottom
After the climb we heading down a farm track bridleway into Rottingdean and onto the under cliff to Saltdean. The climb out of Saltdean to Peacehaven is always a challenge, especially after 18 miles of cross-country riding, and the clifftop path is not as flat as you’d think.
Having encountered thick ice, sloppy puddles and slippery mud, we got back to Seaford safely and exactly on time at noon, the 26 miles and 1700 feet of climbing taking us four hours. A huge ‘well done’ to the riders who stepped up their game to do this challenging ride in tricky conditions.
GPS Video of the route we took: https://www.relive.cc/view/840480159
Cycle Seahaven calendar: http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/calendar/
History of Harvey’s cross: http://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk/page/saltdean
Footpath Peacehaven 12: http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/ph12/
PS. Next week’s ride options are a 2B to Bopeep trig point, and a 2.5C ride to Bopeep and Friston Forest. More details in the calendar at http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/calendar/